Buckholme Towers School fire 'probably caused by electrical fault'

Firefighters spraying water on the burning school building
Image caption Firefighters have been on the scene since just before 03:00 GMT

A fire which damaged a Dorset school is likely to have been caused by an electrical fault, the fire brigade has said.

Crews were called to Buckholme Towers preparatory school in Lower Parkstone, Poole, at 02:47 GMT. The fire was still burning four hours later.

No-one was injured in the blaze, which damaged the first and second floors.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

Fire crews left the scene shortly before 16:00 GMT.

'Immensely sad'

Eyewitness Alison Hellawell, who lives nearby, said: "I was asleep and I heard some noises. I thought it was people in the garden somehow, and I opened the curtains and the flames were just shooting out of it and I looked straight across to the school - my children went to that school - and it was just a huge shock."

She added: "We all just stood there watching the school go up, and it's immensely sad for us because its part of their childhood and it's just destroyed."

Head teacher Iain Robertson said: "This is a very sad day in the history of Buckholme Towers School, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this is only a building.

"It is the children that are at the heart of the school and the most important thing is that they are safe. We are working to ensure there is minimal disruption to their education."

Buckholme Towers is an independent school for children aged three to 12.

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